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Criteria activity tracker reveals brokers’ top searches

The most search criteria by brokers during July has been revealed by Knowledge Bank’s ‘Criteria Activity Tracker’.

Knowledge Bank – the source of criteria data for the mortgage sector – has more than 60,000 pieces of criteria from over 100 lenders on its system and over 350,000 searches performed by brokers.

According to the firm, this shows that borrowers’ circumstances are becoming increasingly complex and highlights the need to establish early on in the process which lenders will consider multiple factors grouped together.

The top two searches in the residential sector – ‘self-employed’ and ‘loan to age’ – retained their spots from last month, however, ‘defaults registered in the past three years’ is now the third most searched criteria. Searches for ‘maximum LTV’ and lenders allowing capital raising for debt consolidation made up the top five.

Meanwhile, the picture is much the same for buy-to-let loans, with the top two searches remaining constant but ‘holiday lets’ and lenders requiring the applicant to be a homeowner moved up into the top five.

Second charge criteria sourcing saw the top five changing completely, with missed or late payments and county court judgements (CCJs) replaced by the maximum LTV offered by lenders.

Published monthly, the Criteria Activity Tracker was initiated to keep brokers and lenders up to date with criteria movements for mortgages and loans.

Knowledge Bank reported that there were over 65,000 searchable criteria in July 2018, an increase of over 5,000 from the previous month, and the average number of criteria searched on per case increased from 4.5 to five.

“One of the most startling facts from the tracker this month is that a broker is searching an average of five separate categories for each case,” Nicola Firth, chief executive officer of Knowledge Bank, said.

She said this shows just how complex a borrower’s needs are becoming and how crucial it is for a broker to know at the onset which lenders will consider their client.

“The most common anecdotal feedback that we receive is frustration that criteria changes are not being widely publicised,” she went on. “There is a feeling in the market that only criteria changes that lenders deem to be positive hit the headlines.”

Firth concluded: “What is without doubt is that technology needs to provide brokers with a simple solution as keeping up to date through lender websites and spreadsheets is simply unrealistic.”

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